KWF eyes official translation of PH Constitutions

By , on October 10, 2017


"The Constitutions were originally written in English but different translations of these can generate various interpretations," he said. (Photo by Marlon E/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)
“The Constitutions were originally written in English but different translations of these can generate various interpretations,” he said. (Photo by Marlon E/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)
MANILA – Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is aiming to come up with official translations of the Philippines’ 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions.

KWF set such goal to help the public better understand and appreciate such Constitutions, noted the agency’s education and networking chief, John Enrico Torralba.

“The Constitutions were originally written in English but different translations of these can generate various interpretations,” he said.

He said having official translations in Filipino and other regional languages nationwide would help minimize misinterpretation of the Constitutions’ provisions.

According to the 1987 Constitution, Filipino is the country’s national language.

“This Constitution shall be promulgated in Filipino and English and shall be translated into major regional languages, Arabic, and Spanish,” the 1987 Constitution also reads.

RA 7104 (Commission on the Filipino Language Act of 1991) created the Commission on the Filipino Language which eventually became known as KWF.

Such commission shall create and maintain “a division of transaction which shall encourage through incentives, undertake and vigorously support the translation into Filipino and other Philippine languages of important historical works and cultural traditions of ethnolinguistic groups, laws, resolutions and other legislative enactments, executive issuances, government policy statements and official documents, textbooks and reference materials in various disciplines and other foreign materials which it may deem necessary for education and other purposes,” reads RA 7104.

KWF came up with its early translations of the Philippines’ three Constitutions based on inputs the agency generated during a forum on the matter, said Torralba.

He said KWF would present such translations during another forum this month to gather feedback from lawyers and other participants on these versions.

The forum scheduled on Tuesday (Oct. 24) in Metro Manila also aims in generating additional inputs that will help KWF further refine the agency’s translations of the Constitutions, he noted.

KWF may further conduct similar fora in the future so the agency can come up with the most accurate translations possible, Torralba said.

Inputs generated during the discussions will help guide KWF in translating other laws as well, he added.